Texas is a great place for your dog to be sprayed buy a skunk, being the biggest state in the Union, it only makes sense that we would have five distinct skunk species, way more than any other state! Given this fact, if you or your pets are prone to stray from the beaten path, or if you are lucky enough to reside in or near greenbelt areas, it is more than likely that at some point you will run into a skunk. Skunks are active primarily in the night hours and can adapt well to urban areas like the DFW Metroplex. In February, as with we humans it seems, sparks fly and skunk mating season begins. By March, love is definitely in the air and encounters with little baby skunks (or kits) occur all over the place. Groups of these little fashionistas are called a ‘surfeit,’ which is not at all surprising when most of us mere mortals find the odoriferous fluid projected from their modified scent glands to be an “excessive amount of something!” ;D
If you are lucky enough to encounter a skunk, as with any wild animal, you should immediately stop moving and stand as still as possible for a few minutes to give the skunk time to grab its bearings, deem you non-threatening and go on about its skunk business to avoid getting sprayed. Now you might find delightful little May kits adorable enough to consider tossing caution to the wind and try picking up one of these little cuties. DON’T. Just DON’T! Not only are skunks able to spray super stinky sulphorous secretions as early as the tender age of seven weeks, they are also the primary source for the majority of animal rabies cases in Texas as they can and will bite if cornered. Note to self, don’t chase a skunk! According to Professor Dowler, a world leader in skunk research and guardian of one of the world’s biggest collections of skunks at Angelo State University, a self-described epicenter of Texas ‘skunkdom,’ skunks also have the uncanny ability to emit their specialized secretion in the form of an atomized cloud of burning, putrid smelling sulphide discharge consisting of skin stinging, eye blinding, gag-reflex-stimulating, faint-inducing, n-butyl mercaptan or in the form of a yellow stream which can be targeted with pin-point accuracy in multiple directions (right, left, front and back) up to 15 feet or more! (Skunks can also rapid fire their weapons multiple times before exhausting their ammunition.)
If you or your pet do happened to be christened by nature’s devil juice, remember rule number two: don’t them get wet! (Water chemically reacts with skunk spray containing thiols and just makes the noxious gas cloud worse.) For the DIY crowd, inventor Paul Krebaum, has altruistically published his skunk remedy recipe which he orginally developed to eliminate odors in his lab when he was conducting research on thiols, organosulfur compounds containing carbon-bonded sulfhydryl or sulphydryl group. He used his knowledge of thiols and chemical agents capable of neutralizing them to create a gentler formula to eliminate skunk odor from a friend’s pet cat.
Skunk Home Remedy Recipe Components: In a plastic bucket mix well 1 quart of in date 3% hydrogen peroxide, 1 to 2 teaspoons of liquid soap and ¼ cup of baking soda, and only if needed for larger pets, you may add 1 quart of lukewarm tap water for complete coverage. (Remember: avoid the use of water if at possible as it further increases and enhances the skunky odor.) Since skunk spray can sting bare skin, use of protective latex gloves during bathing is advisable. Thoroughly rinse the victim with tepid water once all odor has been eliminated to remove any skunk remedy residue.
Due to packaging difficulties, premixed hydrogen peroxide and baking soda cannot be successfully or safely bottled because when they are stored together as a mixture in a leak-proof, air-tight container they create explosive pressures!
WARNING: NEVER, EVER store this homemade concoction in a closed bottle, sprayer or other tightly sealed container as pressure will build in the container until it bursts which could lead to serious injury or death!
For those who would like a less labor intensive means of eliminating skunk spray residue, LazyPaw Animal Hospitals carries an effective pre-bottled preparation. The newer product such as “Skunk off” shampoo is non-explosive, is non-irritating to the skin and eyes, is readily portable and is often more effective with just a single application. Because Skunk-Off, unlike Mr. Krebaum’s effective albeit explosive-when-bottled method of neutralization, skunk odor causing thiols are eliminated in a non-oxidative manner permitting safe storage in a sealed container. Skunk-Off shampoo’s active ingredient binds to n-butyl mercaptan rendering skunk spray thiols odorless. Another benefit it has over the skunk home remedy product is that it is safe to use around the eyes, ears, mouth and other mucous membranes. According to a Thornell company’s product safety’s representative, it can even be used on a dampened cloth to wipe the gums of pets who had the misfortune of being sprayed in the face with mouth wide open.